Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

SHOUT! Black Gospel Music Moments - Candi Staton

In her 50-year career, Candi Staton has sung every kind of music, but may be at her best with gospel, including her irresistible hit, “He Set Me Free.”

I’ll bet you’ve heard a song or two by Candi Staton – even if you don’t remember the name. How about “I’d Rather Be an Old Man’s Sweetheart (Than a Young Man’s Fool),” with the Muscle Shoals studio band? Or her searing R&B version of Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man”? Or maybe her #1 disco hit, “Young Hearts Run Free” ... or maybe what is the best version ever of a Bee Gees song, “Nights on Broadway”? And, if you’re into electronic dance music, you probably know her “Hallelujah Anyway.”

In Staton’s 50-year career – which is still going strong with a band that includes her sons Marcus and Marcel – she’s always returned to her roots in gospel music, beginning in the early ‘70s with “Holy Man.” From The Anointing album on the gospel oriented Beracah label, here’s Candi’s funky and soulful “He Set Me Free.”

2342 Candi Staton - He Set Me Free.mp3

MUSIC: Candi Staton, The Anointing LP, “He Set Me Free,” Side 1, Track 1 (October 15, 2023)

I’m Robert Darden … “Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments” is produced by KWBU, the Black Gospel Music Preservation Program at Baylor University Libraries and is funded by generous support from the Prichard Foundation.

SHOUT! Black Gospel Music Moments - Rev. Raymond Dozier
The patriarch of the Dozier family of gospel singers, the Rev. Raymond Dozier, is a masterful gospel singer himself – witness his rendition of “No Kids Allowed.”
SHOUT! Black Gospel Music Moments - The Sons of the Birds
When a member of the Dixie Hummingbirds missed a show, a member of the Sons of the Birds stepped right in!
SHOUT! Black Gospel Music Moments - Dorothy Maynor
The glorious voice of Dorothy Maynor deserves to be better known today.
SHOUT! Black Gospel Music Moments - Rev. Willie A. Treadwell
The Rev. Willie A. Treadwell’s Treadwell Community Singers were much loved in their native Chicago for their rendition of old favorites like “Sit Down, Servant.”
SHOUT! Black Gospel Music Moments - Rev. Milton Brunson and the Thompson Community Singers
The Rev. Milton Brunson and the Thompson Community Choir’s “It’s Gonna Rain” may be the best cover version ever of an Andrae Crouch and the Disciples songs.
SHOUT! Black Gospel Music Moments - The Bethlehem Healing Temple
“It’s Going to Rain” is a live recording of the congregation at the Bethlehem Healing Temple lost in the throes of the Holy Spirit for nearly 16 minutes!
SHOUT! Black Gospel Music Moments - "The Virgin Mary Had One Son" by The Staple Singers
The Staple Singers’ elegiac, mournful version of the ancient spiritual “The Virgin Mary Had One Son” is a great way to say goodbye to 2023!
SHOUT! Black Gospel Music Moments - "We Three Kings" by Williams Brothers
You’re not likely to hear a more creative interpretation of the old carol “We Three Kings” than this one by the Williams Brothers.
SHOUT! Black Gospel Music Moments - "Christmas Joy" by The Soul Stirrers
The legendary Soul Stirrers recorded a handful of Christmas songs in the late 1960s, including the pop-oriented “Christmas Joy.”
SHOUT! Black Gospel Music Moments - "Children, Go Where I Send Thee" by The Gospel Starlets
The Gospel Starlet’s version of the old folk spiritual “Children Go Where I Send Thee” owes much to legendary producer Phil Spector’s “wall of sound” approach.

Robert F. Darden is the author of two dozen books, most recently: Nothing But Love in God’s Water, Volume II: Black Sacred Music from Sit-In to Resurrection City (Penn State University Press, 2016); Nothing But Love in God’s Water, Volume I: Black Sacred Music from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement(Penn State University Press, 2014); Jesus Laughed: The Redemptive Power of Humor(Abingdon Press, 2008), Reluctant Prophets and Clueless Disciples: Understanding the Bible by Telling Its Stories(Abingdon Press, 2006); and People Get Ready! A New History of Black Gospel Music(Continuum/Bloomsbury, 2004).